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#380: One-Track Mind

July 30, 2009

Notes from the Manager

Related Strips: #376: Hiding in Plain Sight; #377: History Lesson

The movie they're watching is, of course, (500) Days of Summer (as noted in #378). It's a really fun film — perhaps just shy of being a great film — but I enjoyed it more… on almost an intellectual level than an emotional level.

I feel like it's being sold as a romantic comedy (despite a narrator saying "This is not a love story" in both the trailer and the film), and I don't know how accurate that is. Summer is Joseph Gordon-Levitt's film, without a doubt. While I am utterly in love with Zooey Deschanel (as I've mentioned several times in the past, I'm sure), Summer Finn is more of an idea of a perfect girl than a well-rounded character. This is not, at least in my opinion, a flaw with the film; it's sort of the central conceit: that the "perfect girl" doesn't exist. I love this movie for that — but it does make it something other than a romantic comedy, I think.

In the film, JGL's character Tom is a failed architect of sorts. He takes Summer on sort of a walking tour of downtown LA early in their relationship, but rather than point out modern buildings (booooring) he pointed out some of the older, ornate skyscrapers that often get forgotten about when people think of Los Angeles. (You can see a few photos of the gorgeous Fine Arts Building mentioned in panel 2 at Public Art in LA.com.)

Summer doesn't dwell on the architecture stuff too terribly long or anything, but rather than just mentioning that Tom wants to be an architect and casually tossing off the most famous architects' names the screenwriter could think of ("Oh yeah, I used to want to be an architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, blah blah"), they actually talk about the buildings a little bit. Shocking.

I might be talking up this aspect of the film more than I ought to, because it's really not a huge part of the movie, but I adore (500) Days of Summer for that little touch— and not just because it played so beautifully into the storyline I'd already started.

Here's the film's trailer (from which the movie still was taken):

The website Devi mentions — Cinema Treasures — is one of my favorite websites on the internet. The database lets me easily track down and read about every single movie theater that has ever existed, and its wonderfully passionate users often link to photos they've taken or found of the buildings. (They also have an absolutely gorgeous coffee table book.) You can read a little about the Million Dollar Theater mentioned in this strip and glimpsed briefly in (500) Days of Summer at Cinema Treasures or check out some photos of it via Google Images.

UPDATE: Oh, and I almost forgot. There are two new, long overdue reader cameos. One is hempy (a.k.a. Paul Hempseed, who has the coolest name ever) with the red hair towards the back in panel 2, and the other is... umm… I forget at the moment. The Asian guy next to Paul. I'll edit this bit later. Psyrick! That's who!


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